The video assistant referee (VAR) technology is to be implemented for the upcoming World Cup qualifier between Iraq and Iran, according to Iraqi newspaper Baghdad Today.
Iraq will host Dragan Skocic’s side in the second matchday of the final group phase of the Asian qualifiers at Doha’s Khalifa International Stadium on Tuesday.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) had announced in June that the technology would be mandatory for the remainder of the continent’s qualification campaign, before the Asian football’s governing body later reversed its decision.
Of the 12 teams, only Japan, South Korea, Australia, China, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE have introduced the system at their domestic venues.
Iran will step into the game on the back of a first-day 1-0 home victory over Syria, courtesy of an Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s second-half strike, which saw the Asian powerhouse take an early lead in Group A.
Meanwhile Iraq, under new manager Dick Advocaat, walked away with a goalless draw in South Korea.
The Dutch tactician praised his side’s solid display against a formidable South Korean frontline, which included Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min, in Seoul on Thursday, saying, “Defensively, we did really, really well. We only gave up two or three chances against a very good side. We're very happy with the performance. We know how strong [South] Korea can be. Today, we eliminated most of their game.”
Tuesday’s encounter will be a repeat of a double-header in the preliminary round, when Iraq came out victorious 2-1 in the first game, with Sardar Azmoun giving Iran a 1-0 victory in the reverse fixture in June.
Azmoun could be back in the lineup for Iran after serving a one-match suspension.
However, midfielder Milad Sarlak, who was substituted early against Syria due to a head injury, will be a doubt for Tuesday’s clash.
Iraq’s Ali Adnan and Mohammed Qasim Majid will also face a race against time to make it to the game, after being forced out injured against South Korea.
Elsewhere in the group, South Korea will be looking for a first victory in the group against Lebanon at home.
Lebanon also left the pitch with a precious point when it shared the spoils with the UAE in Dubai.
Bert van Marwijk’s UAE will square off against Lebanon in Amman, Jordan.
In Group B, Japan will hope to recover from a 1-0 home defeat against Oman, when playing away to China, while Branko Ivankovic’s Oman will host Saudi Arabia.
Vietnam, a debutant at this stage, will face group leader Australia.
The top two of each group will seal a place in the final showpiece in Qatar next year.
The winner of a playoff tie between the two third-placed teams will advance to the intercontinental playoff.